Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Unresponsive iPhone 6 Touchscreens

Thomas Davidson of Pennsylvania, Todd Cleary of California, and Jun Bai of Delaware have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple over an alleged defect that causes iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus touchscreens to become unresponsive and fail, according to court documents filed electronically this week.

The class action complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court for Northern California, accuses Apple of violating California's consumer fraud statutes, through fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, and for violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

Apple has long been aware of the defective iPhones. Yet, notwithstanding its longstanding knowledge of this design defect, Apple routinely has refused to repair the iPhones without charge when the defect manifests. Many other iPhone owners have communicated with Apple's employees and agents to request that Apple remedy and/or address the Touchscreen Defect and/or resultant damage at no expense. Apple has failed and/or refused to do so.

As a result of Apple’s unfair, deceptive and/or fraudulent business practices, owners of the iPhones, including Plaintiffs, have suffered an ascertainable loss of money and/or property and/or value. The unfair and deceptive trade practices committed by Apple were conducted in a manner giving rise to substantial aggravating circumstances.

The complaint, lodged by California law firm McCuneWright, LLP, seeks an order that requires Apple to repair, recall, and/or replace affected iPhones and to extend the warranties of those devices for a reasonable period of time. The plaintiffs also seek unspecified damages. A jury trial has been demanded.

The lawsuit cites repair website iFixit, which last week shared a blog post and video about the defect, nicknamed "touch disease." The defect presents as a gray flickering bar at the top of the screen and a display that's unresponsive or less responsive to touch. The problem is said to be caused by the touchscreen controller chips soldered to the iPhone's logic board losing contact after a period of normal usage.


The complaint specifically claims that Apple's failure to incorporate a "metal shield" or "underfill" over the logic board, as it did with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c respectively, makes the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus "substantially less durable to foreseeable and reasonable use by consumers and ultimately causes the touchscreen defect."

iPhone-5s-metal-shield
iFixit said the defect has affected a growing number of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners, citing its own repair shop colleagues and dozens of complaints on the Apple Support Communities. Multiple customers who brought their iPhones to Apple Stores were told that Apple doesn't recognize it as an issue and nothing could be done as their iPhones were no longer covered by warranty.

Update: Those that wish to join the class action lawsuit can contact law firm McCuneWright LLP.

Related Forum: iPhone

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Top Rated Comments

A7ibaba Avatar
101 months ago
"Apple doesn't recognize it as an issue". Now it will recognize for sure
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
101 months ago
Once again Apple must be forced into doing the right thing by its customers and cover this manufacturing/design defect for longer than the original stated warranty. It doesn't have to be this way Apple.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sracer Avatar
101 months ago
Yes lets join in, pad the pockets of the lawyers, and get nothing ourselves.

I am sure there are plenty of people who Apple has helped, but we won't hear about it. It's nothing about media. In tech, compliments are rare, but when people feel shorted our culture appears to reward more for complaining.

Not defending Apple, but I am not sure what people are expecting on a failure that happens outside of Warranty. Granted, it would be poor for Apple to expect customers to foot the bill for such an expensive phone that isn't even 2 years old yet. Perhaps the iPhone 7 will have a 2 year base warranty?

We can only hope.
It's escalating quickly. In less than a week we've gone from #8 to #12. For those who are experiencing the problem hang in there... Apple should be admitting to it (#13) and offering a solution soon.


Here's the typical cycle for problems reported on Apple products:
1. A few members post reports of the problem, report it to Apple
2. No response from Apple
3. Increased number of people report the issue
4. No response from Apple
5. Apple apologists dismiss the reports as very rare, the result of trolling, or exaggeration by drama queens
6. Even more reports of the problem
7. No response from Apple
8. News of the problem hits blogs
9. Apple apologists dismiss the blogs as simply engaging in clickbait
10. No response from Apple
11. Those affected by the issue threaten a class-action lawsuit
12. Apple apologists decry the "sue happy" nature of American consumers
13. Apple acknowledges the legitimacy of the problem
14. Apple apologists are silent
15. Apple release an update to correct the problem
or
15a. They set up a "program" to address the problem.
16. Apple gains some positive publicity
17. Apple apologists applaud Apple for doing the "right thing". (for an issue that they said from day-1 was not actually an issue)
18. First hand experience with the “program” reveals very strict guidelines and restrictions that greatly reduce the number of affected customers that can participate in the program.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ACG12 Avatar
101 months ago
Good. When you spend $1000 on a phone, it should last more than 1 year and 10 months.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cole Slaw Avatar
101 months ago
They took some engineering shortcuts here; they should make it right. And by right I don't mean a refurb replacement as those suffer the same defect.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ValPower Avatar
101 months ago
Not defending Apple, but I am not sure what people are expecting on a failure that happens outside of Warranty.
People are expecting it to not fail catastrophically and irreparably after 2 years of normal use. They are expecting that it's performance would diminish gradually so they could either continue to use it for a little bit longer or sell it back for more than zero dollars to buy the latest, expensive, unsubsidized model in the wash-rinse-and-repeat cycle that keeps Apple making money.

A replacement that addressed the design issue or a trade-in credit equal to the phone's value had it NOT had the design issue would be a start.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)